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Being Married to a Firefighter by Staff

What is it like to be married to a firefighter?

Being married to a firefighter is not always easy. First, the high risk nature of the job can be difficult for some spouses. There are many more dangerous jobs than firefighting, but waiting to hear from them after a fire can be a cause for worry.

The hardest thing for the spouse of a firefighter is the absences. Most departments work in 24 hour shifts that begin at 0700 and end at 0700 on the next day. Firefighters typically work 56 hours a week. On the average, a firefighter will work 10 24 hour shifts a month. Some departments have 8 or 12 hour shifts and those can be even more difficult.

The spouse of a firefighter really has to step up and run the house. If something goes wrong when the firefighting spouse is on a shift, she has to handle it. Some firefighter spouses say that the 12 hour rotation is the hardest even though they are home more often. Say for example, he or she works days, they are gone before anyone gets up and they donít get home until the kids are back in bed. Working nights can be worse because you will be there during the day but often times you are too tired to do much.

Sometimes, it can be hard to do things with other couples because the hours of a firefighter donít coincide with your friends. If you have a spouse that works herself, things can get even more challenging. And then there is the overtime. Great for the money, but plans can definitely go out the window.

Most firefighters love their job but it can really take a toll on family life if you let it.

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